Sadoff Addresses Evolving Education System, Soft Skills Importance

There are lots of changes happening in the North Fond du Lac
School District
with new
buildings and safety policies, but education remains the focus of staff and
administration. Superintendent Aaron Sadoff tells us that education reaches far
past simply learning the quadratic equation or writing an essay about World War

Sadoff says “how you
interact with people will get you a lot farther than how well you can read. I
know a lot of people with high ACT scores who haven’t done very well in life,
and I know people who struggled on the ACT and are just killing it. I think
when we look at assessments, those are flashlights, not hammers – they kind of
give you an idea of where you’re at so we can get people the support that they
have, differentiate that instruction. But then also say, ‘you know what? You
can do better.”

He adds that “if you look at employers nowadays, you need to be able to read and write and be able to think, but they want somebody who can show up on time, pass a drug test, work well with other people, and learn. And that’s a really important thing we can report to parents, and we can say ‘hey, here’s how your kid is doing on interacting with people, being punctual, doing those other things.’ They call them soft skills, but I think they’re the most important skills out there.”

The way things are graded are also a bit different from
years passed. Superintendent Aaron Sadoff points to the newer system of grading
that is a bit more straightforward. 

He explains that we
have really gone to standards-based grading, and that’s pretty much across the
country. It’s where – here’s what we expect you to learn – it’s kind of like
welding. If you’re a welder, do you get graded on welding of A, B or C? Or does
it need to be good or not good? It’s got to work. In education we used to be
this continuum – can you do it or can’t you? And if you can do it, great. If
not, it’s that important, you have to be able to do it so we’re going to keep
helping you do it.”

Sadoff also tells us the system helps them work with students better, especially on an
individual basis. He says it’s more focused on 
“how can
you do at each grade level. Now, every kid is not at grade level, but the idea
is that when they come in that they should get at least a year’s growth. So if
you’re in fifth grade and reading at a third grade level, by the time you’re
out of fifth grade you should be at least at a fourth grade level if not a
little higher so we can catch up.”